Recently I learned a few things about what customers truly want from their B2B sales people. Some of the things they spoke about were just common sense items to me while a couple of factors opened my eyes to some possibilities.
So what are the seven things your customers want? These are the seven most important things for a good sales relationship to happen according to the customers.
Here they are…
- Widely Accepted Offerings
They do not want to be guinea pigs for anything new or non-conforming. Customers want what is proven for the most part – no surprises or great risks. Plus, they want offerings that match what they need.
- Flexibility in Features & Options
A little different from the widely accepted offerings, they stated it is important to have some flexibility regarding the options they are offered. This seems to fit the “I want to cover my needs” mentality of most buyers today. It is not about what you want to sell them – it is about what they want to buy. And, options seem to provide the necessary satisfaction you want them to have if you want repeat business.
- Match Existing Quality Specifications
Now this one seems like a common sense item, however, based upon my conversations with buyers – it seems to be a bigger issue than I thought. Seems some sellers or companies want to cut a few corners sometimes and it only hurts the good b2b sales people who are working hard to meet the expectations of their customers. So, here is the deal – match the quality standards the buyers and users are asking for – if you want to stay in the game with your customer. It appears they will cut a company from the preferred supplier list faster if you do not deliver the right quality. And, remember, the customer defines what quality is – not you or your company.
- On-Time Delivery to Specific Schedules
This is really big for materials managers who are counting on “just in time” delivery of products for their production schedules. Again, common sense tells me this is important, yet, seems some supply chain groups still have not mastered this skill of on time delivery. By the way, this is one of the primary reasons for team selling and involving the supply chain people in the sales process. When they learn the importance of just-in-time delivery to your large b2b customers – suddenly, this issue is minimized due to on-time delivery.
- Some Cost Savings
Interesting hearing that cost was not the major concern, yet, some cost savings made life more simple for the buyers dealing with financial bean counters at a corporate office somewhere. The ability to show some cost savings that were offered by the b2b sales person created a more favorable business relationship between the buyer and sales person. Your job is to point out some type of cost savings – it really is not that hard to find if you focus on it and look for different ways to position cost savings.
- Repeatable Performance
This one was really big for the buyers. They want consistency and repeatable performance in everything you do for them. And, most importantly, they want your product to perform consistently with no hiccups. Most buyers have a strong need for consistency and repeatable results from your products – so help them measure performance. Exceeding expectations is another winner in this category.
- Understandable Technology
Techno babble and complexity are the two killers of business relationships according to the buyers of b2b products. And, I will add, as a business owner, I will second this motion. Complexity and “geek speak” do not help your case. If you sell products with technological features, train your technical people to use business talk or common sense language and lose the geek speak at the door. The only time to have a technical person speak geek is when it is a team selling situation and they are working with the customer’s technical people. (It is important your technical people understand how to talk to another technical person and be careful of absolute statements regarding platforms, code, language, or trends – since most technical people have fixed opinions about what is the best solution.) Coach your technical people when they are presenting to other functional areas – non technical people.
There you have the seven things your customers want in their b2b sales buying decisions. Study this list and make sure you cover each component during your interactions with the customer.
Also, take a moment to login and make a comment on this post or tell me what you want to see in the near future regarding b2b sales. I really do like to hear from my readers. Thanks.
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